This Pesto Pasta Salad is sure to become a family favorite! It comes together in no time and since there in no mayo, it’s perfect for summer get-togethers!
Since its been warm here in Phoenix, we’ve been enjoying tons of grilled dishes and all of the summer sides that go with it. To be honest, most of our menu in the summer consists of food cooked on the grill and some kind of cold salad. Among our favorites – potato salad, creamy pea salad …. and lately, this Pesto Pasta Salad!
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This Pesto Pasta Salad is full of some of my favorite ingredients – pasta, pesto, feta cheese, and black olives! Serious yum factor! Depending on what we have on hand, we use either roasted red peppers or grape tomatoes. They are both equally delicious. Please note, that depending on your family’s tastes you may not want to use all of the pesto – but if you like a saucy pasta salad, you may like it with the full amount. Please adjust it to your tastes! If you prefer, you can use purchased pesto in place of the homemade pesto sauce – just adjust it according to you family’s tastes too! We have also used mozzarella in place of the feta cheese with equally delicious results! You just can’t go wrong with this Pesto Pasta Salad! Enjoy!
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For the pesto:
- 3 cups packed fresh basil
- 1 cup packed fresh parsley
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup pine nuts toasted
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
For the salad:
- 1 box 16 oz. rotini pasta
- 1 can 6 oz. black olives, sliced
- 6 oz. roasted red peppers chopped (or substitute 10 oz. fresh grape tomatoes, halved)
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
- Cook pasta according to package directions, cooking until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- To make the pesto: In a food processor puree basil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and pine nuts until smooth. With motor running, add olive oil and process until a thick paste forms. Add Parmesan and pulse twice. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
- Place the pasta, black olives, roasted red peppers (or tomatoes) and feta cheese in a large bowl. Mix to combine. Add pesto in increments, stirring between each addition until it suits your family's tastes. If applicable, reserve the remaining pesto for another use. Serve Pesto Pasta Salad immediately or refrigerate until serving time.
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